Review: Britney Brim With Blithe Banter In Friends And Nothing More
Double act Britney have finally made it. And by 'made it' they mean doing a show near the West End. The upstairs 'attic' at Soho Theatre to be precise — as one of them wryly asides, the venue's "worst room".
Anyway, it's a step up from that time they hosted the school Christmas show, flubbing their lines for a Beauty and the Beast sketch, and leaving its scatological punchline hanging in the air like a bad smell.
The chemistry and warmth between schoolfriends Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson positively radiates off the stage (maybe that's why the room is hotter than the sun on the coldest day of the year). Their happy-go-lucky back-and-forth is a joy to watch — and their genuine bond has that golden quality you can't quite put your finger on, but which all great duos possess.
The sketches, scattered throughout their reminisces about when they were young(er), feel a bit of an afterthought. While stuffed with sparky imagination (Stephen King's wife complaining her husband should write a nice romance, rather than another novel about a sewer-dwelling clown), they don't always bring home the comedy bacon. A little tightening here, a stronger punchline there is all it really needs.
Anyone who's seen Britney's superb TV pilot (which the BBC really needs to commission as a full series btw) will already know the shimmering talents of these two, and might be expecting a live show with a little more something to sink your teeth into. Hints of darkness/drama are knocking at the door (a sketch where a pregnant woman holds her husband hostage; a tirade from Charly as she uncharacteristically flies off the handle towards the end). Maybe this could do with ratcheting up a notch too.
But as a rollicking hour of blithe bantering, Friends and Nothing More does the job and then some. As they're all-too anxious to point out, Britney are still young — most of their comedy career still ahead of them. I doubt it'll be long before they make it to the main stage of Soho Theatre — hell, the Palladium — air con and all.
Britney: Friends and Nothing More at Soho Theatre, until 22 December.
Last Updated 16 December 2022